Constituent Advice Guide
The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting almost every aspect of our lives. Please know that I, my team, and the entire city are doing everything possible to protect you safety and health, keep you informed, and maintain our infrastructure. Together we will get through this crisis.
Please share the below information with family, friends, and neighbors.
Known COVID-19 Cases
For your awareness of where Covid-19 has been identified, please see this neighborhood by neighborhood breakdown of cases presented by the LA Daily News.
Due to the delay in testing availability, there are undoubtedly many more cases among the general public than listed in this map. Please be cognizant of the possibility that you may carry the virus. Many younger people may not become sick but can still transmit COVID-19 to seniors and vulnerable populations. They must take social distancing and other precautions seriously or they risk the life and safety of others including their parents and/or grandparents. The information within was last updated: March 18th.
The LA County Department of Public Health (DPH) is the lead agency on a coordinated response as matters of health are a County function. The DPH is working with the federal Center for Disease Control (CDC). For updates, I encourage you to call 2-1-1, (800) 339-6993, and visit the DPH website (http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus/), keep up to date through my website (http://blumenfield.lacity.org/), and sign up for notification through NotifyLA (https://emergency.lacity.org/notifyla), our emergency alerts system, which we are using to push out updates about COVID-19 prevention. I have been very public about the information we do know and to that end put out this video on my top tips to prepare that you can take to prepare for any future spread of Covid-19 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZxyvw9kuCs).
Most important things everyone can do to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:
- Keep a six-feet distance from others
- Wipe down all surfaces you interact with, do not touch your mouth or face without washing your hands thoroughly
- Don’t share utensils, cups, and the like with others at this time
- Thoroughly scrub and wash your hands with soap and water. Soap and water is one of the most effective tools to prevent the spread of the virus. Hand sanitizers typically kill bacteria and COVID-19 is a virus. Using sanitizer may help prevent you from getting sick with other diseases.
- Face masks are useful for those who exhibit symptoms and, due to hoarding and shortages, should be prioritized for the ill and those working with the ill such as nurses and doctors.
It is possible to contract the virus by touching a contaminated surface without cleaning your hands before touching your nose or mouth. This is not the primary means of spreading, but cleaning will help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Avoid crowds and travel including trips locally. When you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick, limit close contact with people, and wash your hands often.
People who have serious chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes are at a higher risk of getting very ill or dying from COVID-19. If you live with someone who has a chronic medical condition please consider your own behaviors, the people you come in contact with, and ways you could act as a transmission vector to those with chronic conditions. If you care for a loved one living in a care facility, monitor the situation, ask about the health of the other residents frequently and know the protocol if there is an outbreak.
The City of Los Angeles, in partnership with the County of Los Angeles, is providing access to free COVID-19 testing to Los Angeles County residents.
Register for testing here.
Tests are also prioritized for first responders, critical government workers, or health care professionals. Those individuals should inquire at their affiliated hospital, medical center or department for information about how to schedule a same or next day appointment for testing.
The tests provided through this program are mouth swab tests that do not require assistance. Prepare for your appointment by watching this video.
If you are a Kaiser Permanente member, click here to get testing and services through your provider's system.
For more questions about testing, please visit our FAQ for answers to frequently asked questions.
No matter what type of program you are in, you can get a Covid-19 test with no cost sharing.
Medicare has started to pay for telehealth services. You can call your doctor, Skype and send them pictures and all those services are covered.
Monitor food and other medical supplies. Consider other needs such as oxygen tank supply, dialysis accessibility, wound care needs, and create a back-up plan. Stock up on non-perishable food to have on hand in your home to minimize trips to stores. Know what medications you and your loved one is taking and see if you can have extra on hand. Contact your healthcare provider to ask about obtaining extra necessary medications. If you cannot get extra medications consider using mail-order for medications. Be sure you have over the counter medicines and medical supplies to treat fever and other symptoms. Most people will be able to recover from COVID-19 at home.
Avoiding Loneliness in Isolation
Mayor Garcetti’s March 15th directive requesting all seniors to self-isolate is necessary to prevent further spread of Covid-19 to the most vulnerable. However, isolation makes us all prone to loneliness. Please take proactive steps to prevent loneliness and promote contact with those in isolation. Calling family and friends is one of the best ways to keep up everyone’s spirits. The Los Angeles Public Library has many online resources for seniors as well that you can access with this link (https://www.lapl.org/collections-resources/lapl-writes/online-resources). You can download the app ‘Libby’ to read books on your phone and tablet. Use Facetime, Google Hangout, Zoom, and other video conference calls to keep in touch.
Please know that there is no food shortage. Some people are mistakenly panic buying and hoarding food - behaviors which are putting our neighbors at risk. My team and I are working around the clock to supplement the volunteers and supplies at food pantries, keep restaurants functioning, and ensure continuity in the food delivery system. I authored a piece of legislation requesting the Department of Aging respond to the COVID-19 pandemic by scheduling weekly food deliveries to ensure our seniors in need have sufficient supplies for the week and to limit unnecessary interactions.
Please know that Vallarta markets are opening their doors starting Wednesday March 18th between 7am and 8am specifically for seniors, pregnant women, and people with disabilities. Gelson’s markets are opening their doors for seniors between 7am and 8am. There are locations for these grocery stores in Canoga Park and Tarzana. Also, the Council put forward legislation to mandate that all grocery stores do the same.
The Mayor also announced a Senior Meals Program to provide free home-delivered meals. To learn more, please visit the City's application page to check if you are eligible.
Right now, the best ways for seniors to receive a constant supply of food are through online grocery ordering sites, restaurant delivery, Meals on Wheels, food pantry delivery services. ONEgeneration is providing meal delivery for seniors with friends or family nearby to assist. If you need assistance please contact 818-708-6618. If all else fails please know that you can call my office at 818-774-4330 and we will find a solution.
You can keep up to date on local restaurants with confirmed delivery during COVID-19 with this neighborhood-by-neighborhood breakdown of modified hours and expanded delivery and take-out options at la.eater.com.
There is an unprecedented need for food pantry volunteers. If you are young and healthy, I encourage you to contact the food pantries below to find out their needs. The West Valley Food Pantry serves thousands of people in need and is expanding service to seniors affected by COVID-19. Please contact Debbie Decker of the West Valley Food Pantry at 818-346-6955 to volunteer. Many of their usual volunteers fall into the high risk group and can no longer volunteer as they have to self-isolate.
I have activated my Emergency Preparedness BobCAT (Community Action Team) to deliver food and supplies at this time from our emergency warehouse locations. The pantries need people to help on-site and deliver. Your generous contribution of time will help our most impacted neighbors weather this storm.
Prince of Peace Episcopal
5700 Rudnick Ave, Woodland Hills, CA 91367
St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church
19855 Sherman Way, Winnetka, CA 91306
Family Rescue Center Presbyterian
22103 Vanowen St, Canoga Park, CA 91303
United Methodist Church
18120 Saticoy St, Reseda, CA 91335
6933 Remmet Ave, Canoga Park, CA 91303
One Generation Senior Center
18255 Victory Blvd, Reseda, CA 91335
Support for Families and Children
Due to workplace closures and limited hours your family may experience reduced income or a loss of income and/or the need to care for children in lieu of what schools provide during the day. To combat this, please know there are resources available.
- The American Red Cross Los Angeles Region is in a partnership with LAUSD at their meal distribution centers. Food centers will be set up from 7 – 10 a.m. for families and children to pick up boxed meals. More info at redcross.org.
- Paid Family Leave: Employees who need leave to take care of children or family issues can also apply for Paid Family Leave (PFL) through State of California EDD. Please do not call-- its far more efficient to use this online application at edd.ca.gov.
- The City of Los Angeles has mandatory paid sick leave under the City’s Minimum Wage Ordinance. All employers with more than 25 employees must provide their workers with up to 48 hours (or six 8-hour days) per year of paid sick leave. At a minimum, workers earn 1 hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked, but employers can be more generous and provide all 48 hours at the beginning of a year. Please read more with this link https://wagesla.lacity.org/.
- Most workers who are not covered by the City’s Minimum Wage Ordinance are entitled to paid sick leave under State law. The State law sets a floor of 24 hours (or 3 days) of paid sick leave per year, and allows employers to limit accrued unused sick leave to 24 hours.
For information about treating psychological impacts to caregivers and first responders dealing with Covid-19 click here.
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